Deep In Thought

Published: 6 Sep 2018

Cultural Economy Index

As part of a creative momentum project we have developed a series of indices assessing different aspects of creative sector development in the project partner regions. Our ‘Cultural Economy Index’ measures the relative regional performance of the cultural economy in the project regions. It takes a subset of data used in our recently published ‘Creative Economy Index’.

Read the full report here

Cultural and creative economy?

The cultural economy can be understood as a central part of the wider creative economy and includes industries that generate cultural content such as literature, music, visual arts and film. The Cultural Economy Index goes beyond focusing on the extent of development of cultural sector enterprises but also includes data to encompass the wider cultural ecosystem in the regions. It is made up of eight indicators and brings together data across three themes:

  • Cultural Sector Industries
  • Arts and Culture Funding
  • Cultural Infrastructure


The cultural economy has a notable presence in all of these peripheral regions. The results highlight strengths each region can build on, but also weaknesses in the overall creative economy ecosystem in these five peripheral places. Some of the regional findings include:

  • North East Iceland emerges at the top of our Cultural Economy Index with results indicating it has a medium to high level of development. Its weakest performance is regarding the ‘Arts and Culture Funding’ theme where it achieved a low score.
  • Mid Sweden and the West of Ireland both achieve scores indicating a medium level of development of their cultural economies. Both display a weakness in relation to the ‘Cultural Infrastructure’ theme.
  • Northern Finland’s score indicates a medium to low level of development of its cultural economy. Its weakest performance was also on the ‘Cultural Infrastructure’ theme.
  • South East Northern Ireland emerges with a score on the Cultural Economy Index indicating low level of development. At the theme level, its highest score was in relation to its ‘Cultural Sector Industries’.

This report emerged from the ‘Intelligence and Influence’ aspect of a creative momentum project, led by National University of Ireland, Galway. Dr Patrick Collins was Principal Investigator and Dr Aisling Murtagh Post Doctoral Researcher.

For more information read the full report here



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